Two killed as Egypt police disperse protests near Tahrir

Memo. Two Egyptians were killed and nine others wounded Saturday evening near Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square during the police dispersal of a protest by activists angered by a court verdict that cleared former president Hosni Mubarak from charges of conspiring to kill demonstrators in early 2011.

Heath Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar told Anadolu Agency that two people, both in their 20s, were killed during the violence, however without revealing the cause of death.

A medical source, meanwhile, stated that the two deaths were caused by gunshots.

“The events also left nine protestors wounded, some of which suffered temporary asphyxia from the teargas and others sustained wounds from birdshot,” said Abdel-Ghaffar.

Egyptian police on Saturday fired teargas to disperse hundreds of people who gathered near Tahrir Square to protest the ruling that cleared Mubarak, ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly and six former top security officials of charges of ordering the murder of hundreds of protesters during the 18-day uprising, which ended Mubarak’s 30-year rule in early 2011.

The trial judge also cleared Mubarak of corruption charges related to gas exports to Israel.

The judge also dropped another corruption charge against Mubarak, his two sons Alaa and Gamal and business tycoon Hussein Salem, saying that too much time had elapsed since the alleged crime took place for the court to rule in the case.

The verdicts are still subject to appeal.

During Saturday’s session, the judge said that trial documents showed that 239 people had been killed in 11 provinces during the 2011 revolution, including 36 people killed in public squares.

In late 2012, Mubarak and al-Adly were both sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering the murder of demonstrators during the uprising.

The court later ordered a retrial, however, after the former president’s lawyers successfully appealed the sentence.